Santorum: “I’m for income inequality”

posted at 9:25 am on December 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

If Rick Santorum falls short in Iowa, it won’t be for lack of trying.  In an interview yesterday, the Republican presidential hopeful expressed some sympathy for those Occupiers who worry that Americans might be losing out on a “fair shot” at the American dream, but strongly rebuked their aim for “income equality.”  Santorum instead heartily endorsed income inequality, and rebuked President Obama for backing what Santorum called “Marxism”:

Occupy Wall Street activists have misguided aims, but they are tapping into Americans’ accurate perception that many people are being denied a fair shot at a good life, Rick Santorum said Tuesday.

“The reason you see some sympathy among the American public for them is the grave concern — and it’s a legitimate one — that blue-collar workers, lower-income workers, are having a harder and harder time rising,” the former Pennsylvania senator said at a presidential campaign stop. “They talk about income inequality. I’m for income inequality. I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.

“President Obama is for income equality. That’s socialism. It’s worse yet, it’s Marxism,” Santorum said. “I’m not for income equality. I’m not for equality of result — I’m for equality of opportunity.”

“The key in America is that people can rise, that there are opportunities to move up. In that area, America is falling short now. We are not as income-mobile as even some western European countries, according to a lot of the data. So that is something that as Republicans we should be talking about and be concerned about.”

Will this kind of economic red meat convince Iowa caucus-goers that Santorum is the best fighter for their cause?  He’s got a chicken-and-egg problem, Rich Lowry says at National Review, but Lowry thinks the Vander Plaats endorsement yesterday could break Santorum loose:

I get the impression social conservatives in Iowa have been leery of supporting him because he’s been so low in the polls, meaning he stays low in the polls. He’s always needed something to give him an initial boost of plausibility. Maybe this is it, but who knows? I tend to believe one of the three, Perry, Bachmann, or Santorum, is going to get a big boost at the end.

Walter Shapiro compares Santorum favorably to Rick Perry, both of whom are making the full-court retail-politicking press in Iowa this week and next:

I have been covering the Iowa caucuses since 1980, when I watched the first presidential candidate named George Bush do push-ups in a Des Moines YMCA to prove that he was “up for the ’80s” and the then-68-year-old Ronald Reagan was not. I worry that the intimacy and substance of caucus campaigning is fast being replaced by the disembodied world of the TV studio.

If fairness were the reigning value of politics and if in Campaignland hard-working strivers were inevitably rewarded, then Rick Santorum would at last be basking in his moment in the December sun. Instead, the former two-term Pennsylvania senator–who has conducted more than 340 town meetings (all with questions but often with not many voters)–around Iowa has been reduced to urging voters, “Do not read what the pundits say or what the polls say.” Santorum made this plea early Wednesday morning in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines, to 150 attentive members of the West Side Conservative Club, a group that will also be hearing Perry at the end of the month.

Watching Santorum, wearing a grey sleeveless sweater over a blue sport shirt, make his appeal at the Machine Shed Restaurant (slogan: “Now That’s Cooking”), I grew nostalgic for the way Iowa campaigns used to be. The question-and-answer format allows Santorum to display a depth and a gravity that has eluded him during the campaign debates….

Trying to find substance in Rick Perry’s stump speech is like panning for gold in the nearby Missouri River. It is theoretically possible, but it requires luck, hard work and– to use one of Perry’s favorite words–faith. “I’m a Washington outsider. I’m not afraid to step on some toes, if that’s what required,” Perry said Wednesday at the kick-off of a 14-day Iowa bus trip designed to appeal to the conservative caucus-goers who are, as Perry put it, “taking a second look” at the three-term Texas governor. …

A presidential candidate’s stump speech is like a standup comedian’s act–a from-the-heart statement of who he is, honed to a fine point through repetition, yet punctuated with improvisational riffs inspired by the moment and the crowd. Perry somehow missed that campaign memo. He repeatedly glanced down at his formal speech text Wednesday as he spoke to about 75 Iowans in a restored Victorian mansion here. The event was billed as a “town meeting,” the traditional political term for a public question-and-answer session with voters. Town meetings have always been the hallmark of early season campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire. Perry did not get that memo either. He took no audience questions in Council Bluffs, although he did answer a few voter queries later in the day.

I’d like to think that either candidate still has a shot at the caucus win and the nomination.  Both men have qualities that recommend them for the position, and arguably both would hew more naturally toward conservatives and conservatism than the current national leaders.

In case you missed it, here’s my interview yesterday with Santorum during my daily show.  I’ve broken it out in its own clip to make it easier to access.  In the interview, Santorum discusses his differences with Perry, Newt Gingrich, and especially Ron Paul, talks about his economic and tax policies in some detail, briefly sketches out why he likes the Ryan-Wyden entitlement reform plan even more than Ryan’s original plan (and what he doesn’t like about it), and answers the critics who say he can’t win.


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by the way, free markets can create monopolies and you need government intervention to break up monopolies. do you want to forfeit that government service?

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 3:00 PM

False. Free markets, left to their own devices, will eventually destroy monopolies on their own. A monopoly can not exist for very long in an open market.

It’s only the power of government that can sustain and foster monopolies. Key word: sustain.

You’ve got it exactly backwards.

That being said, we operate in a “mixed economy” so it’s more complicated than I’m making it out to be but there you go.

visions on December 21, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Read what I wrote – did I say anything that even hints at that?

Chip on December 21, 2011 at 5:08 PM

ok, stop buying their votes. i am ok with that, but nothing will really stop a politician to attempting it. now what?

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 5:11 PM

False. Free markets, left to their own devices, will eventually destroy monopolies on their own. A monopoly can not exist for very long in an open market.

It’s only the power of government that can sustain and foster monopolies. Key word: sustain.

You’ve got it exactly backwards.

That being said, we operate in a “mixed economy” so it’s more complicated than I’m making it out to be but there you go.

visions on December 21, 2011 at 5:09 PM

sometimes, monopolies can destroy newcomers to the market by lowering the prices where these newcomers are active.

here is an excerpt form the case against standard oil back in 1909:

The government said that Standard raised prices to its monopolistic customers but lowered them to hurt competitors, often disguising its illegal actions by using bogus supposedly independent companies it controlled.[34]

“The evidence is, in fact, absolutely conclusive that the Standard Oil Company charges altogether excessive prices where it meets no competition, and particularly where there is little likelihood of competitors entering the field, and that, on the other hand, where competition is active, it frequently cuts prices to a point which leaves even the Standard little or no profit, and which more often leaves no profit to the competitor, whose costs are ordinarily somewhat higher.”

monopolies have to be broken up for the free market to work correctly.

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM

ok, stop buying their votes. i am ok with that, but nothing will really stop a politician to attempting it. now what?

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Limited government, the Constitution.

The bigger and more complex something is, that harder it is to keep track of what it’s doing.

BTW, recall that some of the biggest monopolies exist with government.

Chip on December 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Limited government, the Constitution.

The bigger and more complex something is, that harder it is to keep track of what it’s doing.

BTW, recall that some of the biggest monopolies exist with government.

Chip on December 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

i would trust it more if the policy makers had our interest at heart instead of the lobbyist interest.but you right, too much complexity can make the system too hard to evaluate for the common citizen.

the constitution does not forbid of making simple laws like, lets give everybody 1000$
now what?

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 5:35 PM

BTW, recall that some of the biggest monopolies exist with government.

Chip on December 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

true and the goverment should privatize such businesses and break them up if necessary.
if

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Why can this obscene troll “sesquipedalian” still post here? Constant gleeful references to the byproducts of anal coitus would seem to be out-of-bounds, no?

OhioCoastie on December 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Not bad for Santorum, I agree with his point.

The problem I have with him, is his tax policy.

I dislike when our tax code is used to play winners/losers.
And he wants to continue that, by giving tax breaks to manufacturers…Tax breaks should be given to all areas to encourage growth in all areas.

Not to just one sector/area to get it going again.

Politicians need to stop using our tax code as a way to get support and repay favors.

That is why I like(d) Rick Perry and Herman Cain’s tax plans.

That is an area where I think Santorum gets it all wrong.

MityMaxx on December 21, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Ok here’s the breakdown the way I see it, because we have experienced it in Puerto Rico: First with manufacturers (not Eli Lilly or Medtronic, thank God) but also with the Ceiba Naval base we had in the east coast. Each important businesses or corporations that get tax breaks-or any type of tax break-promote job growth and it branches out to medium and small businesses, restaurants and such that renders services to that big manufacturer or military base.

Simple: Ceiba Naval base closed due to “x” reason, a special unit plus everybody else was relocated here. What happened? The whole city turned into a ghost town, I kid you not! It looked like one of those Western movies where there’s sand, dust, and abandonment. Only a cantina or two were open./

A military base that big, or a pharmaceutical corporation with tax breaks encourages and anchors that corporation to stay; they keep manufacturing, export products to the US or other parts of the world, and people benefit from it. They buy houses and cars. Add to that groceries, pharmacy, restaurants, and even the dinky delivery truck turned into a breakfast/lunch cafeteria for those who don’t want to eat inside their own place of work.

There’s a social rapport there and they know how you like your food, so you feel better about dealing with jerks, bosses, their jobs and responsibilities for the rest of the day.

For Sales, it’s a blessing because they know every restaurant, bar, or homestyle cooking places to take their clients. The best caterings for those who they need to kiss some rear ends in Corporate. If Sales or other department staff that use company cars gets into an accident or breaks down, there’s the body shop and the mechanics to cut a deal with pharma to fix it and make it look and feel like new. I have seen stuff you wouldn’t believe.

It goes on and on, and on…I miss that; everybody benefits to an extent on the day to day business, not taking into account who earns more money, even if you are frustrated with the morons that do. That drives you to succeed; to go up the professional ladder and kick butt because you know better than that.

I totally get what he’s saying…to extend even more tax cuts to all those that trickle down means more money in everybody’s pocket-so they can hire and help college graduates along the way-so the spoiled brats don’t poop in cop’s cars and want to make $75,000 from the get-go.

Now, here’s the kicker: The rest of the population believes that the government is coddling in with Big Pharma, cutting deals with them and therefore they’re the bad guys. Well, they’re not seeing the whole picture because they never worked there; they believe they’re screwed up by the government because that is what the lamestream media feeds them that information in the morning and in the evening.

Now you know because I’ve been there, worked with Big Pharma, with Big Corporations at levels where I have worked from the ground-up and where I have helped get things going-with my management and with the butt-kissing of Corporate.

But what the heck? I was a mere secretary.

ProudPalinFan on December 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Why can this obscene troll “sesquipedalian” still post here? Constant gleeful references to the byproducts of anal coitus would seem to be out-of-bounds, no?

OhioCoastie on December 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

i confess whenever i read a santorum thread, my toughs tend to go frothy. lol! the libs damaged him good!

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Now it seems we are getting propaganda straight from campaigns.

That’s interesting, because you’re the one pushing lies in this thread about posts having mysteriously disappeared.

If any campaign is actually devoting precious man-hours to spamming blog comment threads, that campaign deserves to lose. Richly.

Allahpundit on December 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Allahpundit, what gives? I was out all afternoon, and come home and the Perry/Palin “Quotes of the Day” post from 12/19 now is in the “More Posts” section of “Top Picks.”

This morning, I was not “lying.” It most definitelywas not there, I checked it several times both before and after your comment, and Dante, upthread, confirmed that the post was missing.

You know, I am a straight-up poster, and I do not come here to Hot Air to lie.

So, if you get a moment, I would appreciate an explanation, if you know what’s going on, because I don’t want to make this mistake again, and I also value my reputation as a straight-shooter.

Thank you.

cane_loader on December 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

P.S., allahpundit, the reason I thought maybe you guys aced the thread is because at another once-popular blog, the owner would remove threads that became flame-wars. I thought that maybe this was your policy, too, though rarely used. As I could not find the thread, which was not there, I made a faulty assumption.

But I did so in good faith, and without ill intent, and certainly without wearing a tin-foil hat.

cane_loader on December 21, 2011 at 6:46 PM

the constitution does not forbid of making simple laws like, lets give everybody 1000$
nathor on December 21, 2011 at 5:35 PM

And just what good would that do? Either they would have to steal the money from someone else, or just printing fiat money like Little Tim and Big Ben have been doing would cause an equal amount of inflation.

LegendHasIt on December 21, 2011 at 8:17 PM

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

You’re nearly as bad a troll as sesquipedalian.

Here’s your track record:
http://www.google.com/#q=site:hotair.com+nathor

ITguy on December 21, 2011 at 8:30 PM

monopolies have to be broken up for the free market to work correctly.

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Government regulation made monopolies possible by shutting out any “Johnny come lately” competitors.
It’s too difficult to start a new buisness in a given field when regulation favors existing buisnesses in that same field.

The free market breaks up monopolies, not the other way around.

listens2glenn on December 21, 2011 at 8:38 PM

“Is he a socialist?” asks FOX News’s blunt television host Bill O’Reilly.

“I prefer to use the term that ‘he’s just over his head,’” the former governor of Massachusetts responds with what he must have thought was a safe answer.

“Yeah, but you gotta’ look at his economic plan, and that economic plan was top down, federal leadership getting us out of the recession — we spent trillions of dollars–and people say, ‘Listen, the guy’s a socialist!‘ It’s class warfare; that‘s what he’s going to wage against you if you get the nomination,” O’Reilly says, gesturing towards Romney.

“You’re a rich guy, you’re out of touch,” the host adds.

Concluding his prediction that Romney should prepare for “class warfare” should he earn the GOP nomination, Bill O’Reilly repeats the question.

“Is he a socialist?”

“You know, I consider him a ‘big government’ liberal democrat. I think as you look at his policies, you conclude that he thinks Europe got it right and we got it wrong,” Romney answered, again avoiding the question.

Vs.

“President Obama is for income equality. That’s socialism. It’s worse yet, it’s Marxism,” Santorum said. “I’m not for income equality. I’m not for equality of result — I’m for equality of opportunity.”

Advantage: Santorum

Romney is too spineless to take on Socialism/Marxism/Communism head on. Santorum faces it head-on.

ITguy on December 21, 2011 at 8:46 PM

listens2glenn on December 21, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Bravo!

The track record of the Democrats has been to pass legislation that puts a huge regulatory compliance burden on businesses. The big businesses can absorb that compliance overhead, but the small businesses increasingly cannot.

So what happens? The small businesses get driven out of business.

And the Democrats also have a track record of taking over big businesses (GM, Chrysler, Fannie/Freddie, Student Loans, etc.)

Closer and closer to big government running the whole show.

ITguy on December 21, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Was anyone else listening to Rush today? He had some very positive things to say about Santorum on his show, like, “I love Santorum.” He also touched on the Arlen Specter endorsement, giving what he thought was an explanation and saying it didn’t bother him. Probably the most interesting part was when he pointed out how much the homosexual lobby hates Santorum and how that colors everything about him in the MSM, I suppose including their ignoring him in the debates, and has helped prevent Santorum making a surge in the polls.

All in all, it was a very good plug for Santorum. Thanks, Rush!!!

Santorum 2012! The only thing better would be Santorum/Palin 2012!!

pannw on December 21, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Santorum/Palin 2012!!

Wouldn’t that just give the lefties fits?!
:-)

ITguy on December 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM

I know, I bad mouth Mitt Romney BUT you do have to have a little word manipulation/catering/ and political examination if you’re going to win against Obama. Sorry, Santorum, being blunt ain’t gonna win it for you.

The Nerve on December 21, 2011 at 9:59 PM

I know, I bad mouth Mitt Romney BUT you do have to have a little word manipulation/catering/ and political examination if you’re going to win against Obama. Sorry, Santorum, being blunt ain’t gonna win it for you.

The Nerve on December 21, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Santorum has a knack for saying something that is exactly right, but saying it in exactly the wrong way. “I’m for inequality.” Really? Does he think that is going to help him? There are a thousand other ways that he could have made the same point. He picks the one that is sure to maximize the number of people that misconstrue or misunderstand it.

This is going to be a long year…

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 1:24 AM

You’re nearly as bad a troll as sesquipedalian.

Here’s your track record:
http://www.google.com/#q=site:hotair.com+nathor

ITguy on December 21, 2011 at 8:30 PM

honestly my track record does not seem bad. a large majority of honest posts with a few joke posts which i though they were brilliant but largely ignored :(

nathor on December 22, 2011 at 2:09 AM

Wouldn’t that just give the lefties fits?!
:-)

ITguy on December 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM

not just lefties, i dont like religious panderers

nathor on December 22, 2011 at 3:28 AM

honestly my track record does not seem bad. a large majority of honest posts with a few joke posts which i though they were brilliant but largely ignored :(

nathor on December 22, 2011 at 2:09 AM

You call the following an honest post that was largely ignored?

when he said he was giving financial advising to a friend… for several years… at 4am

nathor on December 19, 2011 at 10:46 AM

I hate liars, and you are a disgusting liar. I hate people like you. She was sending texts at 4am, which the Atlanta Journal constitution reviewed, not him. Disgusting. Why you go and support your messiah Obama. She sent 70% of the texts, asking for money…and most of the texts back were replies from him.

The guy is no longer in the race, and your messiah Obama is safe…so why do you have to keep manufacturing disgusting lies against him and his family. Just downright despicable.

Chudi on December 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM

ITguy on December 22, 2011 at 7:58 AM

And the gods are silent.

cane_loader on December 22, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Representation without taxation is exactly as unfair as taxation without representation.

logis on December 21, 2011 at 4:51 PM

really? lets imagine that only tax payers would vote. this will mean that neither college students living off their parent nor pensioner nor housewifes would vote.
i would agree with something like, people on unemployment subsidy cannot vote.

nathor on December 21, 2011 at 5:07 PM

What’s wrong with denying tax-NONpayers the right to vote?

Including college students living off their parents (ESPECIALLY THEM), pensioners, housewifes, lot’s-more-additional-catigories-than-there’s-room-to-list-them-all-here, etc.

listens2glenn on December 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM

What’s wrong with denying tax-NONpayers the right to vote?

Nothing is wrong with that.

It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court has made it clear that the Constitution does not guarantee all citizens the right to vote.

The 15th and 19th Amendments state that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, previous condition of servitude (15th), or sex (19th). But the right to vote can be denied or abridged for other reasons. Prior to the 19th Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled in Minor v. Happersett that Virginia Minor was a natural born citizen, but that alone did not guarantee a right to vote. While citizenship is necessary to vote, it is not necessarily sufficient. Voting can be restricted, but the 15th and 19th Amendments forbid certain restrictions.

We are not a Democracy. We are a Republic. We are (at least we are supposed to be) ruled by the Rule of Law, not the Rule of the Mob/Majority.

ITguy on December 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

If a person’s right to vote were conditional upon ownership of identifiable real property, a great many voters would be denied their voice. However, if such a ruling were put in place with a future effective date, giving potential voters the opportunity to “qualify”, capitalism would never again be threatened.

But, since doing so would seriously limit the ability to pander with the promise of handouts, it could never happen.

Freelancer on December 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Income can never be equal in a species whose members are not equal. As long as ability, effort, character and virtue are distributed unequally, there will always be those who achieve more in life, and those who achieve far less.

Not everyone gets to be a star quarterback. Not everyone gets to be an astronaut, a rocket scientist or a rock star. All of us must make the most of our abilities in competition and cooperation with others. Some will do well, some will do average, and some will fall short. There is nothing “unfair” about people rising or falling by their own merit.

No one would argue that the poor having more would be a bad thing. But it is wrong to expect other people to pay for that improvement. Punitive and confiscatory taxation to funnel money to the inadequate in exchange for their votes is the very definition of political corruption.

leereyno on December 23, 2011 at 12:12 PM

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